Comprehensive management of ventilator-dependant patients is one of the most recent additions to the ERS course schedule.
The inaugural course took place in Barcelona, Spain on 6–8 October and was designed to address the care of and the associated issues of ventilator-dependent patients.
The course highlighted both the positive impact on survival rates as a result of mechanical ventilation alongside the increase in reported problems which impact patients’ quality of life.
“Approximately 13 to 20 million people worldwide require life support in intensive care units (ICU) annually for various forms of critical illness. Progress in treatment has markedly improved the survival of these patients, at the price of increasing persisting physical disabilities in many survivors, associated with reduced quality of life, even years after the acute event and an increase in partial or complete dependence on mechanical ventilation,” noted the course organiser, Prof Nicolino Ambrosino.
Offering a comprehensive overview of best practice in the most important aspects of home mechanical ventilation, the course topics included ventilator interfaces, sleep-disordered breathing, nutrition, physiotherapy and the strategies for overcoming key challenges such as discharge.
Attendees included clinicians, researchers, nurses and allied health professionals – a clear demonstration of the broad scope of interest and involvement in the care of ventilator-dependent patients. The group of 70 attendees was also made up of professionals from across Europe and the world.
Speaking after the course, Prof Ambrosino noted “The management of these patients requires specific skills by doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and also patients themselves and non-professional care-givers. The European Respiratory Society is well aware of the educational needs to face these growing problems. That’s why for the first time, the Education Council has organised this 3-day Postgraduate Course.”